Monday, January 31, 2011

In Which Dr. Inkenstein reviews... The Doctor Pen

How appropriate a name for Dr. Inkenstein's newest fountain pen acquisition! And it's
perfect, or almost, but for one slim quibble.
More on that quibble later.
Dr. Inkenstein was given this pen to test-drive by a kindly invisible friend. The Doctor Pen is NOS, and sells for about $14 when you can find it, and it writes ---AND looks---like a much, much more expensive model.

It is quite elegant-looking, in flat-top form with a deep marbled-amber finish that makes Dr. Inkenstein go, "Oooo, shiny! Pretty!"

These phone-pics don't do the pen justice at all.  The metal cap closes with a nice 'click' and posts well enough, but makes the pen somewhat heavier to use.
With its silvertone trim and an unusual, multi-angled nib that is as smooth as anything Dr. Inkenstein has test-driven so far, the Doctor Pen (made, reportedly by Hero) has worked its way into my heart, and no doubt my rotation.

The one slim quibble is indeed its girth. While it's comfortable enough to hold, with Dr. Inkenstein's particular pen-gripping needs, I can not see myself writing page after page with this. Which is a shame, really, because the nib is SO nice. And the finish. Have I mentioned that the finish is pretty? Shiny?
If slim pens are up your alley, or even if they aren't, you will be pleasantly surprised by this little-known, unassuming pen.
Dr. Inkenstein has a happy.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Can Has Stitch Markers?

(In which Count Sockula describes a process and shows work)

This is totally sock-related. I promise. ;-p

So Count Sockula is sitting there learning how to knit a new kind of heel and mini-gusset, and I need extra stitch markers.

Once upon a time Count Sockula didn't have any. This was when I first began to knit and did not realize all the toys that were available to knitters, especially sock knitters.

In such a pinch I used rubber bands and plastic-coated paper clips, which at least had the virtue of color---but you KNOW that I knitted at least one rubber band right into my sock.

Then came the safety pin. Such devices have sharp points. I shall not elaborate.

Obviously, these days, I HAVE markers. Nice plastic ones that have no capacity for causing bleedage.

But because (on a break from the new heel) I grabbed a knitting stuff catalogue and looked at what they had, I yearned for markers with pretty things dangling off them.

Besides, I had seen those dangly markers on someone's blog about knitting an afterthought heel.

Pretty. Shiny. I can has?

So I got out my long-unused jewelry findings and a couple of teeny flat and round-nosed pliers. One jump ring and a charm later, I had that very same kind of marker, and behold! It was indeed shiny and pretty.

It was fun. So I made another. And another. I ran out of charms, ransacked my parts drawer for an ancient Archie McPhee cache of little plasticky dangly thingys, found one or two I didn't hate, and there was no stopping Count Sockula!

If you buy the charm-type stitch markers, they get pretty 'spensive. If you have any jewelry stuff lying around, they are fast, cheap, and easy.

(There's a joke in there somewhere but Count Sockula will let it drift with the tide).

Ahh, but the story doesn't end there, my little sockulites. Went to a craft store over the weekend looking for totally something else, found a lot of pretty dangly things. On Sale! Including new shiny jump rings in different colors. Brought them home. Made more stitch markers from them.

I has a happy.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Behold! Teh horrors of SOCKENSTEIN!

Yes, with Sock-tober finished, and so also Sole-Vember, Count Sockula decided to mount another yarn-speriment.
But, my children, many a plan goes astray.   Behold!  And tremble in fear before this Sockenstein of horror! A monster, created only because Count Sockula got a bee in the bonnet about heel methods and finishing techniques!

Two socks, made by two different methods (cuff-down, with afterthought heel---the second on two straight needles, stitched up with a crochet slip stitch).

These unfortunate creatures cannot even be called fraternal twins. Perhaps not even siblings! Though made of the same yarn (Red Heart Rainbow Brights, thank you very much), one is a full two inches longer than the other!

Hang my head in shame!

Alas for Count Sockula that I did not heed the notations about afterthought heels! (as in, knit them shorter than one would knit 'normal' socks before working toe decreases)...
Alas for the poor sock, knitted to the specs for a normal heel-with-gusset!

Well, knit and learn. And shed a silent tear for these poor socks, sacrificed on the altar of science. Y_Y

(PS:  Gonna wear dems anyway... :-p)